Country Director, Colombia

Closing date:

Danish Refugee Council, one of the world’s leading humanitarian NGOs, is currently looking for a highly qualified Country Director for our operations in Colombia.

DRC established operational presence in Colombia in 2011 with focus on Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) and providing support to conflict-affected population in the south of the country. With the onset of the large mixed migration flows into Colombia coming from Venezuela, DRC started up an integrated humanitarian response in 2018 to meet the urgent needs of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, Colombian returnees, and host communities. Primarily based on protection activities (protection monitoring, individual protection assistance and legal assistance), the response also includes components of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (Transit camp of Maicao), Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) and cash for Rent, No Food Items distributions, livelihood interventions, prevention and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV). Through its humanitarian Demining teams conducts Humanitarian Mine Action programming in the departments of Caquetá and Bolivar. Finally, DRC is also assisting Internally Displaced People (IDP) providing emergency assistance in Nariño and Norte de Santander.

The Colombia programme presently employs 500 + staff with a portfolio of USD 21 million in 2021 in line with new, emerging needs associated with a transition from emergency response through early recovery to development. Currently, DRC Colombia’s programming is taking place in La Guajira, El Atlántico, Bogota, Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Norte de Santander, Caquetá and Nariño.

About the job

The Country Director plays a strong leadership role in DRC’s comprehensive and solutions-based approach to displacement through a high level of strategic leadership, innovation and effective advocacy. Ultimately accountable in country for all aspects of DRC’s work, leading the consolidation and at the same time development of the programme, continuing the process of developing solid impact measurement mechanisms, strengthening accountability initiatives and ensuring that the financial management and organizational setup is adapted to the operational context. The Country Director sets direction, leads, maintains team safety and welfare, and manages resources, delegating specific duties as necessary, while maintaining oversight and accountability.

Your main duties and responsibilities will be:


  • Represent the Country Operation to authorities, donors, partners, and in various co-ordination fora;
  • Strengthen DRC’s position locally, nationally and regionally with the DRC LAC unit;
  • Ensure that DRC maintains excellent and productive relations with all key stakeholders, especially beneficiaries, local authorities, the humanitarian community and donors.

Direct managerial oversight and support

  • Ensure that the senior management team members have clear and realistic performance-based management goals;
  • Overall management of the operation and direct manager for senior staff members.
  • Organise regular meetings with the senior management team and all staff for the purpose of exchanging information, coordination and learning.
  • Ensure that the senior management team is effective, mutually supporting and sufficiently involved in decision making.
  • Frequent travel to the field offices for direct operational support and representation;
  • Ensure compliance with internal and external reporting requirements including procurement.

Fundraising and Advocacy

  • Lead the process of applying for funding and broadening the funding basis in a challenging funding environment;
  • Together with the Head of Programme, lead the team in writing concept papers, project proposals and budgets in line with the approved country strategy;
  • Lead on advocacy for all DRC key messages.


  • Accountable for ensuring that the programme is delivered in a safe and secure manner;
  • Provide overall accountability for security, including development of and ensuring adherence to security procedures, monitoring of the security situation, analysing and provision of recommendations.

Support Services

  • Together with the Head of Support Services, provide overall budget monitoring, financial management and expenses control including compliance with minimum DRC and donor requirements and ensuring that necessary systems are in place.
  • Manage the resources allocated effectively and transparently by respecting and meeting all legal requirements in country
  • Oversee finance and administrative services in the Programmes
  • Provide leadership support to staff and promote best practices in human resources management.
  • Ensure coaching and counselling advice to staff when necessary and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity.

Programme development

  • Together with the Head of Programme, lead the development and update of the programme strategy, within DRC’s overall regional and global strategic frameworks;

Accountability and Quality

  • Ensure that DRC standard regulations and operational procedures (Code of Conduct, DRC Management handbooks, CHS standards, etc) are followed.
  • Guided by the Programme Handbook, continuously monitor and develop relevant accountability initiatives in the field as well as strengthening the effort to document the impact of activities and our presence.

As Manager the post-holder is responsible for the following:

  • Accountable for achieving DRC strategic goals and objectives within the area of responsibility.
  • Accountable for making significant decisions on what the unit does: its purpose, functions and role, and for making commitments and decisions that require the expenditure of significant unit resources; and accountable for ensuring DRC´s compliance procedures are in place at all levels.
  • Accountable for people management of direct reports. This includes hiring & firing, objective setting, probation, performance appraisal, development of staff, managing performance, including poor performance, etc.
  • Accountable for making sound decisions based on DRC policies, MOPs, standards, and the advice of technical experts in DRC.

Roles reporting to this position: Heads of Programmes, Head of Support Services, Security and Safety Coordinator, Area Managers, Communication coordinator.

Reports to: Regional Operation Director for Latin America and the Caribbeans.

About you

To be successful in this role we expect you to possess the following:

  • Min. ten years’ management experience in emergency/development contexts as country director/senior manager of a humanitarian or development organization or similar,
  • Experience representing a large and leading organization to donors, external partners and authorities (10 years);
  • Experience with networking, advocacy and coordination;
  • Experience in managing staff in insecure/stressful locations;
  • Experience in mixed migration context and with conflict related displacement issues;
  • Experience of managing budgets and multiple donor contracts;
  • Experience in donor contact, fundraising and networking;
  • Proven leadership skills and a competence in people management;
  • Proven communicator with all types of stakeholders; and
  • Proven commitment to accountable practices and knowledge of quality assurance systems.
  • Full proficiency in Spanish and English is mandatory.
  • Experience working in Latin America / Colombia is preferred.

In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.

Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.

Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.

Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.

Demonstrating integrity: You uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to our values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

We offer

Contract length: 24 months renewable depending on performance and funding

Level: Band D for Expatriates

Designation of Duty Station: Bogotá, Family duty station – Accompanied

Start date: 15/06/2022

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates; please refer to under Vacancies. For questions regarding the vacancy please contact: . Applications sent by email will not be considered.

How to apply

All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages) in English via our online system at Applications sent by email will not be considered.

Closing date for applications: 24 April 2022

The screening process for this position is on rolling basis, so early submission of applications is encouraged. DRC remains a right to close the vacancy once a suitable candidate is identified.

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